Thursday, 31 December 2015

Thank you and Goodbye 2015...Here's to a crafty 2016!

I can't quite believe this is my last post of 2015. Where has the time gone, and more to the point, how did I manage to keep card making AND blogging for nearly a year??

I've been thinking about what an amazing year it has been and just how much I have managed to do and learn along the way. When I first went into the new Hobbycraft shop that had opened in the retail park at the edge of town (it is walkable!) in October 2014, I had no idea that 18 months later I would be well and truly addicted to card making, have a growing craft stash and have made a lot of lovely crafty friends.

I wanted to take a few minutes to say thanks for all of your support. I wouldn't have kept going without it. All of your wonderful comments and your blogs and videos (those of you who have them!), inspire me to try new things and carry on crafting. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You make it all worthwhile!

Now, the reason I have no card to share is because earlier on in the week my craft desk disappeared.

Until Tuesday, my craft space looked like this:


Yes, those are all the cards I've received this year. How amazing and nice are you all??

And on Tuesday my craft desk disappeared..... OK, it went over to my sister's new place as it was actually a kitchen table and she is in need of furniture. So, as of Hogmanay, my craft space looks like this:


I have another desk which I will replace it with, and I hope to be up and running with a newly organised craft space early in the new year. I promise to have a card to share!

Until then, have a very very Happy Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) and a wonderful New Year's Day! Here is to a very crafty 2016!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Paper piecing Dinosaurs - Raaar!

Hello! Well I do hope everyone had a really great Christmas Day. We're into the 12 Days now, and for us in Northern England, it's been wet. Really, really, really wet. I'm talking floods. Where we live we've not been badly affected, just a huge amount of run off from the hill we like to call our garden, resulting in a waterfall down our steps for two days - you can see it on my Instagram feed. It's finally subsiding, but much of the rest of Yorkshire has been pretty badly hit with a lot of damage in York, Leeds and surrounding towns. We hope it won't rain any time soon!

On to cards! I finally got round to playing with some Clearly Besotted stamps I purchased earlier this month, just in time for some little boys' birthdays. 


As you can tell I decided to do a bit of paper piecing and got quite carried away and paper pieced the whole card. I can tell you I loved it! All that stamping onto patterned paper, then sitting with a glass of rum and coke watching a film whilst fussy cutting - it's the way to go :)

I used Lawn Fawn papers and stamped some of the images twice onto different papers so I could get some additional detail on the images using different colours. 

I found some pre-scored card bases from my Pebbles collection that would do perfectly for sky and cut some sloping grass and desert pieces from my Lawn Fawn papers and stuck them on the bottom of the cards. I then got busy laying out my scenes sticking them on with a mixture of a Quickie Glue stick and some Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

Triceratops is my favourite dinosaur and this one is super smiley.


My sister loved the volcano - I do think it's quite sweet, for a volcano, you know...


So I'm hoping they will go down well with the 5 and 6 year old dino fans, even if they are a little cuter than the ones in Jurassic Park.

Thank you so much for reading, and for all your support this past year. I can't really believe I've been card making and blogging regularly since February. I look forward to spending 2016 with you all, reading your blogs, learning and crafting even more.

Happy New Year!!

Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas Reindeer

Hello again, just popping by to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas indeed. I made this card to give to my sister for Christmas. Like my last post, it's just stamping and no colouring, and I think for Christmas cards in future this might be the way to go as they take very little time indeed.

I used a free gift from a recent issue of Papercraft Essentials as well as a new colour of Versa Magic Chalk ink I purchased on a trip to Samuel Taylors. I do love this ink as well as the colours - they stamp very well, you just have to leave it to dry for a while to avoid smudging it.

  I started with a stitched panel cut using my largest SSS rectangle. I then stamped the reindeer image in Turquoise Gem. I stamped the bow in Red Magic on a piece of spare card stock and fussy cut it and glued it to the reindeer. I stamped the sentiment (CB Sweet Little Sentiments) in red again underneath and adhered the panel to a turquoise A2 card base.

  I felt it was lacking bling, so I used my Spectrum Noir Sparkle pen on the antlers.

[Supplies: Papercraft Essentials issue 125; Versa Magic Chalk Inks - Turquoise Gem and Red Magic; Simon Says Stamp Shapes with Stitches - Rectangles; Neenah Classic Crest 110lb; Turquoise card stock; Clearly Besotted Sweet Little Sentiments;Spectrum Noir Sparkle Clear]

That's all folks, I'm off to play with my new crafty toys or veg in front of the telly with more chocolates than are good for me, whilst the kiddies cause chaos all over the house with new things. 

Have a good one - eat, drink and be merry!

Monday, 21 December 2015

Be Well - with Altenew Dye Inks

Hello crafty chums! How did it get so close to Christmas? I have managed to write all my cards and send them off - I didn't quite get them all hand made (burn out!!!), but I was pleased I managed to make what I did. Next year I plan to start quite early - so this Boxing Day maybe??

I made rather a large purchase in November from Make the Day Special (they are rebranding in January as Seven Hills Crafts! Can't wait!) and one of the items bought was a set of the mini ink cubes from Altenew. I've seen them so much on Instagram with all the wonderful Design Team's work, and although I do prefer colouring images, I'd like to extend my crafting repertoire with some inks. As they retail for less than £10 with four colours in each pack, I thought this was a reasonable price, plus they don't take up lots of storage space.

I really, really love the colour combinations especially Ocean Waves and Sea Glass - they are such beautiful blue-greens.

I had a good play around on Friday evening seeing how they fared with solid images using my SSS 'One with Nature' set:

They coordinate perfectly as I'd hoped, and although I found they did require the odd second stamping to give full coverage with a solid image, they covered well and didn't stain the stamps as much as the Ranger inks. 

I love how all the colours work together, even with my other blue inks, so I can see more options when using them. This is with Ranger Caribbean Coast:

I also love how you can stamp light on dark and this strange alchemy occurs so the light is seen on the dark - I had no idea that would work!!

I used my Neenah Classic Crest 110lb card to get the best coverage - if you want quality results you often need to use quality products.

Can I blow my own trumpet a bit?? It is nearly Christmas :) I absolutely love the card I made using them. I started with a rectangle of Neenah Classic Crest 110lb cut with the largest of my SSS stitched rectangles. I then picked three of the four ink colours and stamped a tree block in each on the front of my panel. I then stamped the tree outline on top, slightly offset in a different colour to the base. I then stamped the sentiment down the side in Desert Night. I felt the bottom was a bit empty, so I cut some strips of snippets I had lying around and glued them just underneath. I then adhered it to a blue A2 card base (I am loving coloured card bases at the moment!).

[Supplies: Neenah Classic Crest 110lb; Blue and turquoise card stock 240gsm; Simon Says Stamp Shapes with Stitches - Rectangles; Simon Says Stamp One with Nature; Altenew Crisp Dye Inks Cool Summer Night - please note I bought mine at Make the Day Special, but it is closed for Christmas and will open in the new year under a new name Seven Hills Crafts; Stick It! Permanent Adhesive Roller;]

What do you think? I am definitely going to buy more of the Altenew cubes over the next year. I don't need or want all the colours as I don't do a lot of just stamped cards, but I do like that they coordinate perfectly and it gives me more options when I make cards.

Thank you so much for reading as always. We move into the last few days before Christmas, and my younger sister has arrived to spend some time with us, so I have two very excited small people - it's going to be a fun few days!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

A-Fusing, A-Musing and A-Thank You!

Hello Avid Crafters! I wanted to first say Thank You to all and any of you who joined in with the Mind Crafternoon. Verity raised £400 for the Charity so thank you if you donated. It was good fun again and I look forward to it being an annual tradition.

I've been floored by a rather nasty stomach bug so my crafting last weekend until now hasn't been huge. I've been feeling a lot better lately and so got my Fuse tool out for another play and made another couple of Christmas cards to send off.

I absolutely love it, but like everything it requires a bit of practice to use it. I noticed when using it at first that the plastic split back open after I'd Fused it. It was like it wasn't melting the plastic enough, so this time I let it get really, really hot and left it for about 20 minutes before using it. It's not the kind of tool you can have lying around with children, so you need to be careful. I know there are special silicone holders, so I think I'll invest in one of those.

I pre-cut my backing card from white card stock using my SSS stitched rectangles, and because I didn't want the plastic sides to show I cut some frames from blue and green card to cover them up once I'd made the pocket.

I started by stamping the Create-A-Smile Wish in my Ranger dye inks - Lily Pad and Blue Ribbon - and the little 'we' in Memento Tuxedo Black. On the back I stamped 'you a merry Christmas' and hand wrote a note to the intended recipient. I wasn't too happy with the finish of the word 'Wish' so I went over it with my Spectrum Noir Sparkle pen in clear. It's like Wink of Stella but it has oodles more sparkle. I was given it by Dawn as a birthday present, but I have a feeling I might be buying more of them!!

I then got to work on the pocket. Using the metal ruler that comes with it, I Fused the plastic pretty close to the edge of the card so that I didn't have too much extra plastic and the card didn't slide around inside. I Fused three sides, then filled the pockets with some of Lucy's sequin selections. I then Fused the opening shut. I was wise to leave it so long to heat as it melted nicely and held up well. I then cut round the seal leaving a small border.

Not a brilliant picture, sorry, but you can sort of see the plastic seal around the outside. You also need a glass mat to use it on. I just have a cheap chopping board I bought at the supermarket for £3! 

I then glued the border on the outside with some glue tape - it's not actually that brilliant, so I'll use liquid next time - and the images I stuck on with glue dots. I had done them in during the October colouring challenge with my Inktense pencils. Those reindeer are hilarious - totally cool and Beatnik!

Supplies: White, blue and green card stock 240gsm; Inktense pencils; Ranger Dye Inks; Create A Smile - Make a Wish stamp set; Simon Says Stamp Shapes with Stitches; Memento Tuxedo Black; A4 Plastic wallets; We R Memory Keepers Fuse Tool; Little Things from Lucy's Cards - Winter Wonderland; Blue Topaz; Lime Cordial; Stick It! Permanent Adhesive Roller; Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen - Clear]

I do love the Fuse and have seen so many other things I can do with it. It has a really great price point - £19.99 where I got it from online - and I know I'll use it for shakers from now on. I love that there is no more mess from sticky tape!

Before I go, I just have to share that I fell off my seat when I checked the results of the Muse challenge #144 - I got an Honorable Mention - crazy time! Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me. Am so chuffed given how much great talent there was. I now have my first button on my blog!

Thanks for reading - that's all for now. Have a great week and hope you're all bearing up under the last minute Christmas card rush and present buying. I'm trying not to panic but I have loads more to do!!


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Muse Challenge #144 + Mind Crafternoon reminder

Firstly, thank you so much for all your kind comments on my Copic colouring. I really do think I am improving - just shows that practice makes perfect! Aileen and I will be taking a short hiatus as we get going on Christmas cards and shopping and spending time with family and friends. We'll be back in the new year to finish the course off - lots of cards I think!!

So I saw this week's Muse challenge and HAD to play along. Ardyth's daughter is this week's Muse and created the cutest CAS card I have ever seen:

Bearing in mind that all I'm thinking about at the moment is Christmas cards, I remembered I'd purchased the cutest little set of Christmas stamps ever back in October at my local-ish non-Hobbycraft shop, Samuel Taylors. They're called Majestix Clear Peg Stamps - Christmas Treats and are tiny and designed to be used with special acrylic pegs, but I found they worked fine with a small acrylic block.

I was inspired by the line of food and the bright colours and decided to make an equally CAS (Clean And Simple) card on watercolour card.

I lined each of the stamps up as equally spaced as possible and as best I could in a straight line - this is where a MISTI would come in handy and am ever convinced it would be worth the £50 now we can get them in the UK - I then took my large acrylic block, picked them up, inked them up with Archival Jet Black ink and stamped them onto a piece of card stock cut slightly smaller than my A2 card base. The results are quite good!

I then selected different bright colours of Spectrum Aquas and water coloured a splodge on top. The sentiment was added at the bottom and I completely mucked it up with not adding enough ink so had to go over it with my Copic Multiliner - better than I ever expected though despite my wobbly hand - and again, a MISTI would have coped well with this! I then adhered the panel to my A2 card base with some tape.

[Supplies: Card-io Majestix Clear Peg Stamps - Christmas Treats; White card stock 300gsm; Spectrum Aqua - Primaries and Florals; Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink; WH Smith water colour paper; Clearly Besotted Best Christmas]

I love the result and hope that you do too. I hope you feel inspired to try your hand at the Muse challenge.

Thank you so much for stopping by. If you are interested in doing something crafty over the weekend, can I remind you of the Mind Crafternoon I posted about a few weeks ago? Verity's Crafternoon is on Saturday and the official Crafternoon on Sunday. I'll be on Instagram using the hashtag #crafternoon - come join me and feel free to tag me @craftingwhilethebabynaps and I'll do my best to pop by and say hello.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Online Card Classes - Copic Markers for Card Makers Day 7

Hi again. Weather here has been awful lately - rain, rain and more rain, with a bit of wind. Have to say the girls are loving it - scooting in and out of puddles and poking them with sticks. Whatever the weather, they love life, which makes up for the dark days.

So, I managed to get round to doing some of the Copic class again. It's been a struggle as my mind has been firmly on Christmas cards, but practice is important!

This week it's all about colouring in those tricky colours - red, white and black. I do enjoy working with the grey colours as we covered it a few weeks ago in Day 3. I only had one warm grey (W), but a trip to the local craft shop with some birthday money sorted that out and I now have three. I think I may end up getting all the C and W greys in at least Ciao. They do work well for blending and shading.

The reds on the other hand I really struggle with and will invest in a couple of darker reds as well as a green. Wonder why? Then you have to check out Julia Altermann's video. It really is amazing what the dark green does to the red. That's why I've left a couple of these flowers white - to try out when the next consignment of Copics arrive.

I had a go, however, on the flowers below and don't think they look too bad. I tried this one with some grey shading with a C3:

  What is good is that you can really see the difference between the C and W greys:

Apologies for the shadow in this picture - even in daytime, the lighting is quite poor.

Onto the robot vampire (?!?!?! - gotta love some of the images people come up with - inventive!):

I really enjoyed this one, blending the black (100) with the Ws. I struggle still with blending the folds, but I'm hoping that will come with time.

I love the green waistcoat in the last one I did - it's my favourite combination, created because at one point they were the only greens I had!

I decided to be bold and try creating a background. That is a lot of fun! I added dots of lighter blue and colourless blender as well as my white gelly rol pen and Wink of Stella pen (not the brush).

You can tell I'm not really happy with the blending in the folds, can't you!

Anyway, thanks for joining me. I go back to frantically making Christmas cards again - so many, so little time! - and trying where I can to avoid all the releases that are coming in December...... and failing ;)

Don't forget please go and say Hello to Aileen who has been hugely creative in her Christmas cards of late, and colouring up a storm with her Copic classes.

Thanks for all your wonderful and kind comments. I love hearing from you all :)

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